Stavrinakis rails against Charleston County's decision to nix 526 extension

Leon Stavrinakis

A South Carolina lawmaker whose West Ashley district anchors where the Interstate 526 expansion would have gone has blasted the Charleston County leadership that nixed the deal.

“I have never seen elected officials voluntarily breach a contract at the expense of tax payers before,” state Rep. Leon Stavrinakis wrote as part of a string of posts on his Facebook account this week.

He went on to call Charleston County Council’s move to give up on completing the highway, “arogant (sic) and irresponsible.”

The charge was especially true, he said, because taxpayers are likely to be on the hook for reimbursing the State Infrastructure Bank (SIB) a minimum of $12 million that’s been spent to date on right-of-way acquisitions and environmental studies.

Reached Friday, Stavrinakis, D-Charleston, said he stood by his comments, saying that the council’s decision to walk away from the project without producing anything does nothing to alleviate the ever-increasing traffic woes in his West Ashley district, or on Savannah Highway and James and Johns islands.

The majority of the council members who worked against the estimated $490 million project said they did so because of the public’s overwhelming sentiments against it.